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Best winter experiences in Australia 

This country is magical mid-year.

It’s a time of wondrous experiences coupled with enthralling events.

We’re showcasing just some of the seasonal entertainment that is on offer right across the land.

Whether chasing sun or snow or something in between, it’s time to embrace winter.

Hands up who's keen on a Top End escape?! More below. Credit: Tourism NT/Helen Orr.

Essential winter experience in SA

Wander along Ghost Mushroom Lane, near Mt Gambier

Visiting a mushroom breeding ground within a pine forest might not sound like an exciting winter activity, but stick with us. This setting is full of ghost mushrooms that have bioluminescent properties, and which produce a magnificent soft green glow. The quirky green scene is revealed along various marked trails from May-June or join a guided tour for fun fungus facts. The lane is 15km northwest of Mt Gambier.

Stay at: BIG4 Blue Lake.

Take a wander down Ghost Mushroom Lane. Credit: Thomas Cowey.

Must-attend winter event in SA

Illuminate Adelaide

Where: Various locations.

When: 1-31 July.

A colour show of a different kind brightens the state capital throughout July. Illuminate Adelaide threads light, art, and sound to create a feast for the senses. A stack of colourful projections and installations feature alongside musical entertainment and other sensory delights. The rich vibrancy reaches other SA locations at selected times, including Renmark, Mt Gambier, and Victor Harbor.

Stay at: BIG4 West Beach.

Or elsewhere: BIG4 Renmark Riverfront, BIG4 Blue Lake, or BIG4 Breeze – Port Elliot.

Adelaide is bathed in colour in July. Credit: Illuminate Adelaide 2021.

Essential winter experience in VIC

Hit the slopes!

Embracing the snow is a quintessential winter activity in Victoria. Signature resorts of Mt Buller, Dinner Plain, Mt Hotham, and Falls Creek are predictably a magnet for skiers and snowboarders, but there’s much more to the story. Remain in the High Country for tobogganing or snowshoeing on Mt Buffalo, be enchanted on a dogsled tour at various locations, or head to Lake Mountain for the likes of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tobogganing.

Stay at: BIG4 parks in the VIC High Country region.

More wonderful winter experiences in VIC.

A classic Victorian winter experience. Location: Falls Creek.

Must-attend winter event in VIC

Elvis: Direct From Graceland

Where: Bendigo Art Gallery.

When: Current-17 July 2022.

Bendigo Art Gallery has earned a formidable reputation for curating world-class touring exhibitions, and it’s delivered the goods yet again. This dazzling display has been created in partnership with Graceland and gives visitors a rare chance to witness Elvis’ iconic costumes and other memorabilia outside of the famous Memphis mansion. Shake, rattle, and roll.

Stay at: BIG4 Bendigo Ascot, BIG4 Bendigo Marong, or BIG4 Bendigo Park Lane.

Victoria’s best art galleries are here.

Chuck on your blue suede shoes and get to Bendigo. Credit: Leon Schoots.

Essential winter experience in TAS

Follow the whisky trail

Winter and whisky tasting – what a pairing! And the Apple Isle is the place to warm the insides with 50-plus distilleries dotted around. This includes prominent names like Lark and Sullivans Cove in Hobart or Launceston Distillery further north. For the ultimate experience, time a visit to coincide with Tasmanian Whisky Week (8-14 August 2022). It includes various buzzing events right across the state.

Stay at: BIG4 parks in TAS.

Wonderful whisky. Pictured: Lark. Credit: Sam Shelley.

Must-attend winter event in TAS

Dark Mofo

Where: Various locations, Hobart.

When: 15-22 June 2022.

Inspired by ancient winter solstice rituals, Dark Mofo has emerged as a crowd favourite since it first kicked off in 2013. Hobart comes alive with the likes of large-scale art installations, musical performances, and other entertainment alongside signature showings such as the waterfront Winter Feast and the Nude Solstice Swim.

Stay at: BIG4 Hobart Airport.

The Winter Feast is among the highlights of Dark Mofo. Credit: Adam Gibson.

Essential winter experience in NSW

Go whale watching

This is the season of humpback-whale migration. The oceanic giants depart Antarctica and head to warmer waters northwards, and the NSW coastline is littered with prime viewing locations as whales make the annual trek up and back. Alongside a raft of viewing hotspots are a boat-load of cruise options where intimate encounters dial the wow-factor up to the max.

Stay at: BIG4 parks in NSW.

Seeing whales up close is an invigorating experience. Location: Jervis Bay. Credit: Jordan Robins.

Must-attend winter event in NSW

Art Month

Where: 1-31 August 2022.

When: Various locations, Sapphire Coast.

Dozens of engaging events add winter sparkle to this South Coast NSW sub-region throughout the final month of the season. Visual art, dance, theatre, music, and other performances stretch from Bermagui to Eden with a distinct focus on local talent. A top collection of great galleries enrich the creative vibe.

Stay at: BIG4 parks in South Coast NSW.

Inside and outside, the Sapphire Coast delivers visual delights in winter.

Essential winter experience in NT

Embrace the dry season

Winter is prime time to explore the Top End, as it falls in the heart of the dry season (May-October). Expect warm, sunny days and pleasant nights while high humidity is reliably denied entry to the party. Whether chilling in Darwin or Katherine or uncovering the territory’s famed national parks, a visit to the Top End in winter is rich with rewards.

Stay at: BIG4 Hidden Valley and BIG4 Howard Springs in Darwin or BIG4 Breeze – Katherine.

From where you'd like to be. Location: Cullen Bay Marina, Darwin. Credit: Tourism NT.

Must-attend winter event in NT

Darwin Fringe Festival

Where: Various locations.

When: 8-17 July.

The festival is action-packed: 10 days, 20-plus venues, 100 or so events, and nearly 200 performances. Local artists steal the spotlight, delivering bucketloads of entertainment in the fields of theatre, cabaret, dance, comedy, and plenty else. Exhibitions, workshops, studio tours, and more add to the creative feel that flows furiously through the NT capital each July.

Stay at: BIG4 Hidden Valley or BIG4 Howard Springs.

Darwin Fringe Festival is bursting with entertainment. Credit: Paz Tassone.

Essential winter experience in QLD

Catch the sun

As with the NT, winter welcomes the start of a typically drier period in QLD. Temperatures are reliably warmer the further north you go (special comments: Captain Obvious), so while southerners will be happy to just cross the border, those in the bottom reaches of QLD will likely eye a higher climb to find a few extra degrees. Whatever the case, generally, it’s a wonderful time to be in this part of the world and explore a bounty of treasure.

Stay at: BIG4 parks in QLD.

Queensland in winter? That's a yes from us. Pictured: Magnetic Island. Credit: Melissa Findley.

Must-attend winter event in QLD

Mary Poppins Festival – Day in the Park

Where: Queens Park & Portside Heritage Precinct, Maryborough.

When: 3 July 2022.

Mary Poppins’ author, PL Travers, was born in Maryborough, so the city celebrates its link to the famous fictional character by hosting this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious annual event. It’s entertainment aplenty with races, challenges, parades, and other fun-filled activities where creativity shines. Maryborough is near Hervey Bay, a whale-watcher’s mecca in winter, which increases the appeal of a Fraser Coast getaway at this time.

Stay at: BIG4 Hervey Bay.

Pop in to Maryborough for cart-loads of fun. Image courtesy: Mary Poppins Festival.

Essential winter experience in WA

Join a truffle hunt, Manjimup

This is not your average experience, which only serves to make it even more compelling. June marks the start of truffle season and the fertile soils and cool climate of this small South West WA town are perfect for growing the delicacy. A host of interesting insights are revealed during these outings, which run until late August and include tastings.

Stay at: BIG4 Taunton Farm Margaret River or BIG4 Breeze – Busselton.

More South West WA highlights.

It's hunting season of a different kind in Manjimup. Credit: Frances Andrijich.

Must-attend winter event in WA

Cabin Fever

Where: Various locations, Margaret River and Busselton.

When: 15-24 July.

Fun, feasts, and fires all feature via a series of vibrant and diverse events that highlight the region’s many delights. There’s a clear emphasis on Margaret River’s delicious produce, wine, and craft beer along with a generous side of musical entertainment and more.

Stay at: BIG4 Taunton Farm Margaret River or BIG4 Breeze – Busselton.

Excitement reaches fever pitch when this event hits. Credit: Isolated Photography.

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